Copyright © 2008 All Rights Reserved. Al-Hakim Foundation.
The full text of the Statement of the Organizers on behalf of
the Conference is as follows:
Iraq for all Iraqis Statement of the Organizers on behalf of the
The organizers—Religions for Peace, New York University’s Centre for Dialogues:
Islamic World-US-The West and the Al-Hakim Foundation—opened the conference at the United
Nations to highlight the critical role of Iraqi leaders of religions—Shiite and Sunni Muslims,
Christians and others; ethnic leaders, Arabs, Kurds, Turkman and others civil society organizations
The conference was designed to promote dialogue and cooperation among them and their
international counterparts, and while looking forward, recognized the many sacrifices made by the
The sacrifice of Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad Baqir Al-Hakim was noted as was the United Nations
Special Representative to Iraq, Mr. Sergio de Mello. The sense of the conference was as follows:
- While the perceptions of reality among Iraqi representatives were rich and at times
contrasted, there was—nevertheless—a strong shared commitment to a unified Iraq for all
Iraqis, an Iraq to be built by Iraqis out of a creative engagement of current realities and the
rich and positive religious, historical and cultural legacies.
- There was a shared commitment to the further building of a representative, effective
- There was a consensus on the need for re-building Iraq based upon respect for religious,
ethnic and cultural diversity.
- There was an acknowledgement of the unique and constructive roles of religious leaders in
building peace among the Iraqi peoples, providing a moral basis and spiritual guidance for
“common living” and national cohesion. The constructive leadership of the Grand Ayatollah
As-Sayyid As-Sistani was acknowledged as an outstanding role model.
- There was an agreement that all religious sites should be protected and that those
destroyed should be re-built; the Askari Shrine in Samarra was noted in particular.
- It was recognized that there should be an Iraqi multi-religious institution that can facilitate
cooperation among all religious sects and provide a unified response to those “Takfiri”
religious extremist ideologies that are used as religious justifications for indiscriminate
violence against persons and the destruction of religious sites. This institution should be a
partner in international multi-religious cooperation.
- It was recognized that the rule of law should be strengthened and uniformly applied and
that the institutions essential for its implementation should be free of all sectarian and
- There was a recognition that human rights should be fully and universally respected and
that concrete measures of restorative justice be taken for the benefit of all those who have
been wronged. In particular, the full rights and engagement of women and youth are to be
- The conference stressed the fundamental role of education in building a new Iraqi
personality that re-captures the rich legacies of Iraq and overcomes the damage of
centuries of foreign intervention and oppression.
- While acknowledging the need for international support and partnership, there was full
consensus on the right for Iraqis to determine their future as a sovereign nation without any